Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has spoken of the need for his players to respond again after their poor display against Huddersfield and has labelled Sunday’s game against Widnes Vikings as “crucial”.
Powell was unhappy with his side’s performance in the 32-18 defeat to the Giants, particularly with the way they fell away in the second half, and is demanding an immediate improvement to round off the regular season with a victory.
He told the Express: “It’s an important game for us this week.
“Going into the Super 8s there’s some big games coming up.
“We need to respond this week, it’s a crucial game and we’ve got to get two points.
“Widnes away is a little bit different with the surface, but that shouldn’t be an issue. We’ve gone there and played pretty well over the last few years. It’s a key game for us.
“What was most disappointing last week was that we were in a fantastic position to get in front of Wigan.
“Obviously there’s a little bit of water to go under the bridge, but you’d rather be there than not. We had a good chance, but we weren’t good enough to take it and we need to respond this week clearly.”
Powell was disappointed with the way his team went from playing some strong rugby against Huddersfield and opening up a 12-0 lead in the first 10 minutes to completely losing their way after the break.
He added: “It was a poor performance from us. We started really well, but then fell away badly.
“They got the momentum and had a massive reason to win the game. I hoped ours would match that, but for whatever reason it didn’t.
“The end of the first half and start of the second half was a defining period in the game and we could just not get it back.
“There was big period when we had minimal possession and then just before half-time we were 18-12 up and don’t hit touch with the penalty and they score on the back of that to go in 18-18. After we had a lead it was pretty disappointing.
“The first 10 minutes of the second half was pretty disastrous for us, to be honest. We didn’t come out of the changing rooms at all and as a result of that we were left with too much to do. They were just too good for us.”